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Tags Posts tagged with "Damian Lillard"

Damian Lillard

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Photo courtesy of Harry How, Getty Images

April 1, 2014 — 7:30 PM (PST)
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA
TV: TWC SportsNet / TWC SportsNet Deportes
Radio: 710 ESPN (English) / 1330 ESPN (Spanish)

The Lakers come off a very impressive win vs. Phoenix Suns this Sunday to end a 2-game winning streak. Now, they seek to carry Sunday’s momentum into tonight’s matchup vs. Portland Trail Blazers, a team the Lakers defeated in their last meeting.

Pau Gasol seeks to return to tonight’s matchup after dealing with a scary vertigo illness that caused him to miss this past week. Gasol, scoring 17.5 PPG and grabbing 9.8 RPG this season, highly desires to play the last 9 games alongside C Chris Kaman to finish the rest of this season, according to LATimes.com’s Eric Pincus.

Kaman, who Head Coach Mike D’Antoni has thrown to the end of the bench throughout this season for reasons unknown to any Laker fans, dominated the Suns Sunday night by scoring 28 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. Kaman and Gasol showed that they could play well alongside eachother throughout the pre-season, but the twin-tower combination has barely stepped on the floor together this season.

The all- duo of F/C LaMarcus Aldridge and PG Damian Lillard lead the Trail Blazers into STAPLES Center tonight.  Aldridge, who has reached the prime of his career, comes into tonight’s game averaging a career high 23.2 PPG and 11.1 RPG by fully developing his all-around game.

Meanwhile, Lillard has become a star in only his 2nd NBA season. An example of a player who benefitted from playing in college for all 4 years, Lillard has become a household NBA name, averaging 20.9 PPG and 5.5 APG throughout this season.

Projected Starters

PG – Kendall Marshall  Damian Lillard [Advantage: Trail Blazers]
SG – Jodie Meeks / Wesley Matthews [Advantage: Trail Blazers]
SF – Wesley Johnson Nicholas Batum [Advantage: Trail Blazers]
PF – Chris Kaman / LaMarcus Aldridge [Advantage: Trail Blazers]
C – Pau Gasol Robin Lopez  [Advantage: Lakers]

Notable Bench Players

Blazers: G Mo WilliamsDorrell WrightCJ McCollum, Thomas Robinson

Lakers: SG Kent Bazemore, PF Jordan Hill, Nick Young, G Xavier Henry

Bench Advantage: Lakers

Injury List

Blazers: Out-C Joel Freeland

Lakers: Out-G Kobe Bryant, Out-PG Jordan Farmar, GTD-PG Steve Nash, GTD-C Pau Gasol, GTD-G Xavier Henry

Bottom Line

The Lakers have been a very mysterious team this season, winning vs. teams like TrailBlazers and Thunder, while getting swept by very bad teams like the Milwaukee Bucks this season. On April Fools Day, lets see if the Lakers can fool NBA fans and upset the TrailBlazers tonight. For that to happen, the Lakers have to play very good team defense and make a lot of their shots, similar to how well they shot vs. Knicks last Tuesday to blow them out.

Prediction

Trail Blazers: 117-104

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Photo courtesy of Sam Forencich, Getty Images.

March 3, 2014 — 7:00 PM (PST)
Rose Garden, Portland, OR
TV: TWC SportsNet / TWC SportsNet Deportes
Radio: 710 ESPN (English) / 1330 ESPN (Spanish)

Projected Starters

PG – Kendall Marshall  Damian Lillard [Advantage: Trail Blazers]
SG – Jodie Meeks / Wesley Matthews [Advantage: Trail Blazers]
SF – Kent Bazemore Nicholas Batum [Advantage: Trail Blazers]
PF – Wesley Johnson / LaMarcus Aldridge [Advantage: Trail Blazers]
C – Pau Gasol Robin Lopez  [Advantage: Lakers]

Notable Bench Players

Blazers: G Mo WilliamsDorrell WrightCJ McCollum

Lakers: PG Jordan FarmarChris Kaman, Jordan Hill, G Xavier Henry

Bench Advantage: Lakers

Injury List

Blazers: Out-C Joel Freeland, Doubtful-F Thomas Robinson

Lakers: Out-G Kobe Bryant, Out-PG Steve Nash, Out-F/G Nick Young, Will Play-G Xavier Henry

Prediction

Trail Blazers: 110-103

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LaMarcusSource: Harry How/Getty Images North America
Source: Harry How/Getty Images

December 1, 2013 — 6:30 PM (PST)
STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA
TV: Time Warner Cable SportsNet
Radio: 710 ESPN (English) / 1330 ESPN (Spanish)

The Los Angeles Lakers (9-8) return home to play the red hot Portland Trail Blazers (13-3), who come into STAPLES Center as a surprise 2nd seed in the Western Conference so far this season. The Blazers are led by the duo of F/C LaMarcus Aldridge and PG Damian Lillard.  Aldridge, who is having another All-Star caliber season, comes into tonight’s game averaging a career high 22.1 PPG and 9.6 RPG, while Lillard continues to make a name for himself in the NBA, averaging 19.9 PPG and 5.8 APG.

The Lakers, who came off of a successful 2-1 road trip, look to continue their momentum tonight vs. the Trail Blazers. The Lakers won their last game vs. Detroit Pistons, led by G/F Wesley Johnson and F Shawne Williams, who scored 27 points and 20 points respectably, shooting a combined 12-18 from the three-point line. This might be the Lakers last game without G Kobe Bryant, who continues to get himself into game-shape to return to the floor with the rest of the team.

Key Matchup: LaMarcus Aldridge vs. Pau Gasol

This game will come down to the battle of the bigs, notably between Aldridge and Lakers C Pau Gasol. Both players showcase a variety of post moves that comes at a premium in today’s NBA. Both of these players can also comfortably shoot from as far as 20 feet away from the basket, forcing both players to guard against a perimeter shot while protecting against a drive to the basket.

While Aldridge has been playing at a very high level throughout the season, Gasol, has slowly but surely returned to his old form. After struggling to battle conditioning and groin issues earlier this season, Gasol has started to become assertive with the ball again, creating his own shot from the post and driving more aggressively to the basket. As a result, Gasol has increased his scoring productivity, averaging 17.75 PPG his last 8 games compared to a subpar 12.11 PPG his first 9 games this season.

If Gasol can hold his own versus Aldridge and continue to play aggressively and be assertive to call for the ball, look for the Lakers to give themselves a chance to defeat the Blazers tonight.

X-Factors

Trail Blazers: G Mo Williams - who joined the Blazers after a 2-year stint as the starting point guard for the Utah Jazz, has now thrived in his new role as a 6th man for the Portland Trailblazers, averaging 9.1 PPG and 4.8 APG despite only playing 25.5 MPG. If Williams can successfully lead the Trail Blazers’ bench the upgraded Lakers 2nd unit, who average a league leading . When Mo Williams scores more than 10 points this season, the Trail Blazers are a perfect 6-0 this season.

Lakers: F Shawne Williams - who fits the stretch 4 position in coach Mike D’Antoni’s system, finally had himself a breakout game on the stat sheet. Williams scored in double-digit for the first time since  February 2, 2012, scoring 20 points and shooting 6-11 from the three-point line. The Lakers hope for Williams to continue to shoot well versus a more stout Trail Blazers defense, who lead the NBA in fewest opponents  three-point percentage this year, holding opponents to 32% this season.

Projected Starters

PGDamian Lillard / Steve Blake
SGWesley Matthews / Jodie Meeks
SFNicolas Batum / Wesley Johnson
PFLaMarcus Aldridge / Jordan Hill
CRobin Lopez / Pau Gasol

Prediction

Lakers: 104-100

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